He Shuts Me Down
Relationships often become complex and stressful when communication is non-existent. We often find that many perspectives speak to women’s needs, but what about that of a man? Here is some insight that may help the way that you love and communicate with your spouse:
1. His feelings matter – In any relationship – TONE matters. It’s important that we think about how and most importantly what we say, because it matters.
Men are taught that they have to be strong, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have feelings. The worst thing in the world is to have a valid point, then put it on the side of a missile and launch it directly at your spouse. It only blows up your point, and it can devalue his feelings.
In turn, he may have been taught to demonstrate his feelings of being hurt by detachment, shutting down and walking away, or anger. Although a man may not be as expressive as we may like, it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t get emotional. Most times men want to feel respected and loved more than anything. If he loves you, he will listen – but it is all in how you say it.
2. Appreciation – Learning what your partner likes is important, but it is also just as important to learn about their traumas and triggers too. He may not look for appreciation, but it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t want to feel it.
When it comes to the relationship, showing some compassion and understanding is just as important to them as it is to women. When you beat someone down over the smallest things, any chance you get, you can put them in a state of mind where they feel that they can never get anything right at all, so why try?
Help him feel motivated to be more open to trying to improve. Doing so establishes trust, and it gives him a sense of safety.
3. Give it time – Everyone may not be ready and able to talk about an issue when they are upset. They may need time to process their emotions. If you are someone who likes to address things right as they happen you may have to find ways to self-soothe until they are ready.
Conversations take two people who are calm and willing to talk. Even if there is not an argument being there for someone in silence – giving a hug, listening without responding, and refraining from becoming defensive or saying mean things – can allow an opportunity for him to find the words and space to be open when he is ready.
Let’s remember that talking in love requires patience, kindness, and respect for one another.